Monday, May 3, 2010

2. Great Finds

I went to Montgomery Thrift Shop on the 23rd and found some great items and spent a whopping *drumroll* $20.00 total.

Stoked am I.

Here are the fruits of my labors for a mere 20 minutes search:

Seude Skirt: $3 (marked down for winter :)
Benetton Skirt: $6

Sheet Music: FREE! (Going to decoupage a coffee table with some and save the rest for other projects!)
Records: 50 cents apiece (KISS album $1 as I walked out the door...SUCH a deal!)
Box For Incense: $4.00

Make the most of finding in a short time as possible:
1. Knowing your MUST have items (things you'll be willing to dig through a bin to find; i.e. jewelry, music, shoes, electronics.) These item will take longer to find, but may be worth the payoff in the end, as you flip through a stack of records to find that rare edition of a band you love, or dig in a crummy bin of knick knacks and find a 50 year old Hummel. Words of advice--if you decide to dig through bins, carry Purel or hand wipes with you as you WILL get grime on your hands--it's a hazard of the trade :)

2. Being kind to the shopkeepers. If you build a repoire people who work in thrift shops, you are making great allies. Just because someone works in a thrift shop doesn't mean they don't have VIP contraire. While at Montgomery Thrift digging in the stack of records, I was chatting with a gentleman who worked there about music, and he happened to mention a stack he set aside...they were rare collectible albums, and I could have them at cost--now, I knew I owned a few of them, and because he was so generous and had found me the KISS album I was satisfied. But he has first pick, as do most employees of secondhad stores of what comes in, and if you mention an item you are very interested in that is not available, it may be hiding in the back, or simply not priced yet--someone working there will know. A word to the wise, however-don't overplay this card and try to use people to take their finds. Knowing that people have access to things does not mean abusing them to get it. I have seen people in stores become quite rude if they see something behind a counter unmarked that they want--just because it is there does not mean you have a right to it. Always remembeer that most thrift shops are staffed on a volunteer basis and they are there out of the goodness of their hearts, but they have their limits with pushy people just as much as you do.

3. Make a first sweep, just looking up and down the aisles as new things may be in, then hone in on the items of most interest. It may sound crazy, but I make a map in my mind: Housewares, Clothes, Music, Books, Curios, and then I peruse each section with greatest to least importance depending upon time. I've had to set myself time limits or I have been known to spend whole afternoons in thrift shops!

I hope you find this helpful, and happy thrifting!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

1. How I Learned To Thrift

To begin this LONG overdue blog, I'm going to start by thanking my mom for never making hand-me-downs seem like a bad thing, or making thrifting seem dirty because we had to shop secondhand. It was then, and remains now-a treasure hunt. The quest for that perfect item. Today it might be a statement piece of jewelry-
This great Amber ring $12.00 at Mustard Seed.

Or this great piece of crewel embroidery my mom found at Yesterday's Rose.

Wherever these gems are found, they are fun to find and great to integrate into my home decor, or my wardrode, and sometimes even make great gifts!

When people turn their noses up to the idea of a "used" item, I have to laugh, because I know that some of my most prized possesions are the brand new things I've found discarded at junk shops--people would be amazed, not to mention the great slightly worn things that can be polished, pressed or loved regardless by someone who can truly appreciate their value. After all, Where do you think antiques come from? Not to mention, style keeps reoccuring, so I'm constantly able to recreate looks for less by keeping a few staples in my closet at all times from my bargain hunting from various eras :)

There is something for everyone in thrifting--so I'm starting this blog as an homage, a user guide, and a travelogue of sorts to help newbies, and entertain regulars of the thrifting community.

Happy Hunting!